Dream Bigger steals the show in Damon Runyon

Sunday, March 15th, 2020

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

By Sarah Mace

Repole Stable’s Dream Bigger, a grey son of Mission Impazible, returned to his winning ways in style Sunday, taking the featured $100,000 Damon Runyon at Aqueduct Racetrack by 7 3/4 lengths under Junior Alvarado.

The field of the Damon Runyon, a 7-furlong race for New York-bred 3-year-olds, was a well-matched group of six, several of whom have been knocking heads since last fall. In the end, bettors gave a slight edge to Dream Bigger, drawn in post one, betting him down to 2-1 odds.

Dream Bigger broke inward at the bell, but got straightened out in short order and scooted up the rail to assume a half-length lead over Scilly Cay through early fractions of 23.16 and 46.60.

Improving on his advantage and shaking off Scilly Cay for good in the bend, Dream Bigger expanded his lead to nearly four lengths by the time he hit the quarter pole and never looked back, drawing off to win by 7 3/4 lengths in a final time of 1:25.89 over the fast going.

More Graytful, who broke his maiden last out on February 17, rode the rail throughout from post position two and closed well, if greenly, from fourth to capture the runner-up position, followed by Bourbon Bay. Prince of Pharoahs, Titan’s Will and Scilly Cay completed the order of finish. Chowda, winner of the Gander Stakes last out on February 16, was scratched. [VIDEO REPLAY]

“He broke good, but he broke inside,” Junior Alvarado recounted. “I think that’s why he lost a little momentum going forward at the break. My only plan today was to put him on the lead and see how long he could carry his speed. Today, he had a good day, and he carried it all the way to the wire. I thought somebody would put pressure on me, but I didn’t have a second plan today. I was going to go to the lead breaking fast or slow. I was committed to the lead before the break.”

Trainer Rudy Rodriguez concurred. “He ran a big race. He broke a little slow, but Junior hustled him out of there and they took it from there.”

Well regarded from his debut, Dream Bigger has been sent off as the post time favorite in each of his seven career starts and has never finished off the board.

Second to top Kentucky Derby contender Tiz the Law in his Saratoga debut, the grey broke his maiden two starts later in dramatic fashion, romping by more than 10 lengths in the New York Breeders’ Futurity at Finger Lakes on September 30. Winner of the Notebook Stakes next out in November, he suffered a heartbreaking nose loss in the $500,000 Great White Way division of the New York Stallion Stakes series. Third in the Rego Park to Scilly Cay, he was freshened for 63 days for his Damon Runyon effort.

Coming into the race, Dream Bigger boasted the field’s biggest bankroll. His third stakes win bolstered his earnings to $376,178.

Bred by Sequel New York, Twin Creeks Racing and Pamela Zielinski, Dream Bigger is the most recent reported foal, and one of two winners, out of Downtown Daria, a Kentucky-bred winner by Sky Mesa. The mare’s Noonmark filly Downtown at Noon placed in the Niagara Stakes at Finger Lakes in 2017 and earned just shy of six figures.

Dream Bigger changed hands three times at public auction. Northface Bloodstock purchased him for $15,000 as a weanling out of the 2017 Fasig-Tipton New York fall mixed sale. Returning next summer in the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling sale, he brought $65,000 from Whetstone Farm. Mike Repole went to $205,000 to take him home from the 2019 OBS spring 2-year-old sale.

New York sire Mission Impazible stands at Sequel Stallions New York in Hudson for a 2020 fee of $5,000.


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